Sam Querrey and Ivo Karlovic played nearly 80 minutes of tennis without a break of serve on Friday in a New York Open quarterfinal, but it was the second-seeded American who played in the tiebreakers to notch the 7-6(5), 7-6(4) victory at NYCB LIVE home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“I think going into that, a lot of people expected some tiebreakers and that’s what we got,” said Querrey after the match. “It was two looks in the first set and two break points, good serves. I was really happy with how I played both tiebreakers and that was it.”
Querrey had two break point opportunities in the first set but Karlovic, the all-time aces leader, erased them with two big serves. Nonetheless, Querrey outplayed the Croat in both tiebreakers to come out on top and book his spot in the semifinals.
Awaiting Querrey for a trip to the finals is fourth-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who ended the run of Spanish qualifier Adrian Menendez-Maceiras with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win in Friday’s first match.
Mannarino will be looking to reach the fifth ATP final of his career when he faces off with Querrey in Saturday’s semifinal, but is focusing on the task at hand.
“So far, every time I’ve been playing a final, I was just facing some who played better than me. I don’t think I was missing my match. I’m not really thinking about it right now. I’m just happy to be in the semifinals, and we’ll see tomorrow what’s going to happen,” said Mannarino.
In the Night Session, Nishikori battled Moldova’s Radu Albot and early on neither player could establish their serve.
Nishikori and Albot split break points throughout the opening set and it was Albot who secured the last one at 5-4 to steal the first set and take the early advantage. But the fifth-seeded Nishikori turned his level up in the second set and won 12 of the final 16 games to take care of Albot and move on.
“It was a very tough start, he was playing really good tennis… I was playing too much defense in the first set and he was attacking a little bit,” said Nishikori. “During the second set I got rhythm back and started playing inside the baseline, and everything started working well.”
In the semifinals, Nishikori will take on top-seed Kevin Anderson, who outlasted young American Frances Tiafoe on Friday night.